Friday, June 22, 2018

Proof of Concept - 9

Fig. 1
I. Background

This series deals with several subjects concerning sea level change.

One main theme is "what causes sea level change?" ... focusing on less well known causes.

Another theme is how much sea level change is caused by thermal expansion, which focuses on the erroneous hypothesis that "thermal expansion is the main cause of sea level rise."

That is the subject of today's post, except that the TEOS-10 library that calculates thermal expansion volume will not be used.

Fig. 2a
Fig. 2b
Fig. 2c
Fig. 2d
Fig. 2e
Fig. 2f
Fig. 2g
Fig. 2h
Fig. 2i
Fig. 2j
Fig. 2k
Fig. 2l
Fig. 2m
Fig. 2n
Fig. 2o
Fig. 2p
Fig. 2q
Fig. 2r
Fig. 2s
Fig. 2t
Instead, I am going to show more cases where sea level change is taking place, but it is obviously not caused by thermal expansion.

In preparation, I had to write a special software module to go through the hundreds of WOD Zones of data in my SQL database.

The first thing to search for is whether a particular zone has tide gauge stations or not, because that is the source of the sea level change data.

The second thing to search for is whether that same zone also has water temperature and salinity (a.k.a. "conductivity") records taken in the same time frame as the tide gauge records were taken.

That requires a software operation to find the beginning year when the tide gauge stations match the beginning year when the sea water temperature and salinity measurements of ocean water were performed.

Practically, it means beginning the graph at the same year, which may leave out some earlier measurements from zone to zone.

(Typically, sea level measurements, all things considered, go back further than subsurface ocean condition measurements do.)

Once the equalization of beginnings is established, the graphs are easier to read.

The result then is comparing apples to apples and oranges to oranges as it were.

In some previous posts, the graphs were not synchronized like that, so some of them could be more difficult to read (e.g. here Build Your Own Thermosteric Computational System - 2, where there is one 10-yr difference).

II. The Comparisons

When a zone is found that fits the bill, the data are analyzed to see if the sea level change trend (rise or fall) is the same as the sea water temperature trend (warming or cooling).

If they don't make thermal expansion sense, then that zone is noted and a CSV file is generated so that a graph can be made.

By making "thermal expansion sense" I mean that a sea level rising trend in that zone must also have a sea water temperature rising trend in that zone.

Or, conversely, if sea level is falling then sea water temperature must be falling too.

Otherwise, there is no visible link between a warming ocean water temperature trend and a sea level rise trend.

By the way, the temperature and sea level values shown in the graphs are the mean averages of temperatures at all depths (for WOD values) and are also mean averages of all tide gauge records in that zone.

III. The Results

In WOD zones around the globe, from the north to the equator on down to the ocean south of the equator, there are cases were the thermal expansion hypothesis is falsified.

The graphs today are continuations of the graphs from previous posts that also revealed this reality (The World According To Measurements - 14, Build Your Own Thermosteric Computational System - 2).

IV. The Graphs

The graph at Fig. 1 maps out today's graph locations.

The red squares on the map show where Fig. 2a - Fig. 2t graphs are located.

I also added red lines to the graphs as an indication of the trend over past decades in the zone featured in that graph.

In today's graphs, there are two types of events shown on the graphs.

The first event type is when sea level has a rising trend, but the sea water temperature has a cooling trend (see any graph except Fig. 2d and Fig. 2t).

The other type of event is when sea level has a falling trend, but the sea water temperature trend (in contrast) is warming (see graphs at Fig. 2d, Fig. 2t).

These trends shown on the graphs do not comport with the hypothesis that thermal expansion is the main cause of the sea level rise.

If thermal expansion, caused by warming sea water in that zone, was the case, then in zones where sea level has a rising trend, the sea water temperature must also have a rising (warming) trend.

V. Half Truths 

The fact that 71% of the Earth is covered with water was seen as low hanging fruit to be used by lazy researchers to popularize the mantra posing as an axiom: "when water warms it expands."

That is a half-truth, not an axiom.

If water temperature is below its maximum density temperature and heat is added, it will contract (condense, shrink) in volume, not expand (until the maximum density temperature is reached).

Half-truths are not good in scientific circles because, in science, truths should be whole truths (Let's Not Be Too Dense - 2).

Here are a very few examples of what you can find from a Google search:
"When water heats up, it expands." National Geographic

"When the ocean warms, seawater ... expands, raising sea level." - National Academies Press

"water expands as it warms" - NOAA

"The ocean will expand when heated." - JPL NASA

"As sea water heats up it ... takes up more space, sea levels rise." - Carbon Brief

"If this heat from global temperature rise is passed on to the water, water expands ...” - CLEAN

"Warmer seas mean higher sea levels ... water expands as it warms" - The Lawrence Underground
The concept of thermal expansion as a cause célèbre for sea level rise has been oversold for way too long.

VI. Conclusion

I fully expect this situation to change as the Thermodynamic Equation Of Seawater - 2010  (TEOS-10) library is used to calculate sea water volume changes caused by the warming of the oceans (Build Your Own Thermosteric Computational System, 2).

One reason for that optimism is the recent "discovery" of ghost water (NASA Busts The Ghost).

Until then, the ignoring of Newton, Woodworth 1888, and Mitrovica had misled the searchers who were perplexed (the missing cause of more sea level rise than was expected was actually unknown).

Their concepts of how much ice was melting into the oceans was therefore flawed with underestimations.

It had long been believed by way too many of them that the vast Antarctic Ice Sheet, especially in East Antarctica, was rock solid and was not going to melt (Antarctica 2.0, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 [& supplements A, B, C, D, E, F]).

That is not the understanding of most of them any more ("The ice sheets are melting!").

The previous post in this series is here.


  1. "Trump admin tightens media access for federal scientists"


  2. Life in the caldera of Deception Island in the Antarctic. While contemporary news plays volleyball with the good/bad news of isostatic rebound, it's also nice to know that many volcanoes abound in the region. Life finds a way.